Hi Sara ~
Welcome aboard! I'm glad you joined the forum.
Well, let's see. You'll have to help me out here - I have no idea what ME is when you reference it.
As well, I am thinking that "ME" is actually the person you should be concerned about - as in - yourself.
You cannot make your husband happy, only he can. But you can work on your own self, your own issues, your own life. Own the issues that you own, and let him own the issues that are his.
You often see quoted that happiness is a choice (and best of all it's free)! That doesn't mean that we don't have rotten things happen to us, or that we don't have aggravations and such in our lives. It's more of an attitude. To be able to let go of the things that you can do nothing about, to work the things you can. Much like the serenity prayer if you are familiar with it: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference
You said that you suffer from depression/anxiety. Are you under care for those conditions - do you take medication, do you go to therapy?
If you don't do any kind of individual therapy, it may be beneficial to try that. There are also depression support groups that you could join - both online and maybe within your local community.
Do you have any interests, pasttimes, or hobbies that you pursue?
Do you exercise? One of the best things you can do is try and get out and take a walk everyday. It can help give you a totally different perspective on things.
Hi, thank you for your helpful comments. 'ME' is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - which I've had now for 3 years: it causes constant pain and exhaustion and makes life extremely difficult. You can imagine that it also makes me feel very disinclined for sex - my body is always so uncomfortable!
I so agree that I can't make my husband happy - I've known this, and tried to talk about it with him, for so many years - but he cannot seem to stop somehow expecting me to either make him happy or - I'm not even sure what he wants me to do, come to think of it - to stop wanting me to share his gloomy moods. He behaves as if, when I try to be positive and take positive action to sort my own problems out, I'm being uncaring and not acknowledging his problems. But I simply cannot bear all the nearly continuous negativity, it drains the joy and life out of me.
I completely agree with the idea behind the serenity prayer, and for myself, prefer to approach life (with all it's ups and downs) with a cheerful intent, trying to make the most of whatever good bits there are! But he can't seem to do that, seems resentful of me whenever I try to share my happiness at, for example, my garden/something nice on telly/any happy thought - as if he's disapproving and thinking "don't expect me to smile, I'm not happy and you can't pretend everything's ok". It's so terribly depressing - at the moment I can't wait for him just to not be around - I'm happiest when he's at work or away for work.
I had medication and counselling for my depression - which is not my current problem. ME/CFS is "depressing" of course, as is any chronic, ongoing illness, because you cannot do all the things in life that you used to. In my case, my favourite hobbies were dancing, walking and gardening, and with the CFS/ME I cannot dance, can only walk and garden a little at a time - but I've tried to adapt and have been loving doing some knitting and crocheting, when I can!
I've just started some new ME/CFS treatment, along with getting support from you guys here (and at another site called Horsesmouth with very helpful mentors) so I am working hard at making things better. But he clearly resents me spending time on myself, I can't ask him to help me with the self-massage I need to do every day for my treatment - and he resents any extra help I need, such as with housework.
Sorry to go on and on... but I don't know how much longer I can cope with him. We don't have enough savings to allow us to live apart anyway... and he has always refused to consider breaking up... we've had so many desperately unhappy conversations when I've expressed how unhappy I am and he's promised to try harder - but he can't seem to help how he responds to these type of challenges and I just feel that all my natural joy and ability to live positively is disabled by him. If I had enough money to live alone I think, finally, I would have to make that choice - it's hard to describe how bad he makes me feel, so much of the time.
It's all complicated - life usually is! - and I have emotional issues about expressing negative feelings from all the controlling stuff from my mother - so I'm not saying everything's all his fault. He is a very loving father to our grown up daughters and a man of integrity and commitment in his work. But for 20 years he's been making me very unhappy and I can't seem to find a way to solve the problem. In the end all I can do is avoid conflict, and him, as much as possible - we're even sleeping apart now. I was sleeping so badly because of his negativity - and his snoring! - and this was making my ME/CFS much worse: rest is essential.
I'd better stop for now! But your reply was very much in the right spirit, thank you so much. It helps a lot to be able to try to work things out, with someone to listen!